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May 18, 2022

Chamber Believes There Should Be a Flat Fee for Trade License

Marcello Blake

The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry says that the conversation with G.O.B. on trade license reform started back in 2009 and has evolved over time. Major concerns were ventilated back in 2013, when trade license had increased up to three hundred percent for some of its members in various municipalities. According to the president of the B.C.C.I., Marcello Blake, there should be appropriate and equitable share of the cost. He says that eighty-percent of the membership is micro, small and medium enterprises and that there are five key goals.


Marcello Blake, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“The revenue neutrality, the transparency, predictability, the administratively ease and accountability. For us, we remain committed to the process to ensure that we could move towards a fee, rather than what it is currently, which is a tax by another name that is levied on businesses as a trade license. So for us, while in the short and medium term we remain sympathetic to the municipalities and the need for the funding that goes into those municipalities for them to offer the necessary goods and services, we are also of the opinion that we must move towards a flat fee rather than the way the calculations are being done currently. And so, while the conversations have been ongoing and yes the Chamber has been consulted, part of our challenge with the move to take it to the House so early is the fact that the Chamber did not necessarily have adequate time to be able to go through the actual written bill. So conceptually, we discussed various elements of the build in order for us to get to the point where we are and we must commend the ministry for the steps taken to move us in this direction and while there is some element of predictability in the bill, where there is a three-year review, it does not remove the requests from our end to be able to digest the Bill in its written format – in as much detail as possible – and for us to then go to our members and be able to consult with the document in hand.”

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